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Department of Psychology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Mariah Kornbluh

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-2418
Office: Barnwell College Rm 555


Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Mariah Kornbluh


Dr. Mariah Kornbluh received her Ph.D. in Ecological Community Psychology with a specialization in Applied Developmental Science from Michigan State University. She has nearly a decade of experience engaging with children working in schools, afterschool programs, Freedom Schools, community centers, and Head Start programs. Dr. Kornbluh’s approach to research reflects her ongoing commitment towards disrupting educational disparities for racially and ethnically minoritized children, whom often experience institutional and systemic disempowerment, by partnering with communities and children in an effort to promote more participatory culturally-responsive learning opportunities and settings.


Her research has led to peer reviewed publications in high impact journals (i.e., Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and American Journal of Community Psychology), and several book chapters. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Early Adolescence and the Journal of Adolescent Research, and is a research board member of the National Mentoring Resource Center. Dr. Kornbluh is also a junior research member for the Jacobs Foundation Social Learning and Cultural Evolution Series, and a Research Scholar at the American Psychological Association (division of Society for Community Research and Action). Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, American Psychological Association, and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Kornbluh approaches her research through a social-constructivist, ecological, and social justice lens. Her research includes three interrelated areas of inquiry:

  1. What are children’s understandings of inequality? How do interpersonal, cultural, and social processes influence these understandings? How do understandings of inequality relate to learning, health, and well-being?
  2. What practices and pedagogies do adult helpers (teachers, mentors, school counselors, community members, and families) leverage to support children’s learning and participation in traditional and non-traditional environments?
  3. How can networks and participatory research methods capture dynamic, multi-level, and socio-cultural contextual processes in learning, health, and well-being?

Prospective graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds within higher education are especially encouraged to apply.

Selected Publications:

Kornbluh, M., Pykett, A., & Flanagan, C. (2019). Exploring the associations between youth’s explanation of poverty at the societal level and judgments of distributive justice. Developmental Psychology, 55(3), 488-497.

Flanagan, C., & Kornbluh, M. (2019). How unequal is the United States? Adolescents’ images of social stratification. Child Development. 90(3), 957-969. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12954 

Kornbluh, M., Neal, J. W., & Ozer, E. J. (2016). Scaling‐up youth‐led social justice efforts through an online school‐based social network. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57(3-4), 266-279. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12042

Kornbluh, M. (2017). Building bridges: Exploring the communication trends and perceived sociopolitical benefits of adolescents engaging in online social justice efforts. Youth & Society, 1-23. doi: 10.1177/004418X17723656 

Kornbluh, M., Ozer, E. J., Allen, C. D., & Kirshner, B. (2015). Youth participatory action research as an approach to sociopolitical development and the new academic standards: Considerations for educators. The Urban Review, 47(5), 868-892. doi: 10.1007/s11256-015-0337-6. 

Kornbluh, M. (2015). Combating challenges to establishing trustworthiness in qualitative research. Qualitative  Research in Psychology, 12(4), 397-414. doi: 10.1080/14780887.2015.1021941

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.